Purpose: To evaluate clinical manifestations of patients with uveitis and scleritis of unknown origin and positive QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test (quantiferon) in a country not endemic for tuberculosis.
Design: Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
Methods: Retrospective review of the clinical, laboratory, and imaging data of 77 patients. Main outcome measures consisted of ocular and systemic features as well as results of laboratory examinations.
Results: Out of all, 60 of 71 (85%) were living for at least 6 months in tuberculosis-endemic regions. Location of uveitis was variable; posterior uveitis (29/77; 38%) was the most frequent. Two clinical entities were commonly noted: retinal occlusive vasculitis (21/77; 27%) and serpiginoid choroiditis (11/77; 14%). Antituberculosis treatment was completed in 32 patients; 29 of them (91%) achieved complete remission. Mean quantiferon level was 7.5 U/mL; 71% had values above 2 U/mL and 41% above 10 U/mL. We observed no associations between quantiferon levels and clinical and/or imaging features. Previous tuberculosis infection was diagnosed in 5 of 77 patients (6.5%), while hilar/mediastinal lymphadenopathy was found in 25 of 76 patients (33%). Of these, 12 were consistent with the diagnosis of sarcoidosis, 9 were typical for (prior) tuberculosis, and 4 were compatible with both diagnoses.
Conclusions: Ocular features of patients with idiopathic uveitis and positive quantiferon were diverse, but retinal occlusive vasculitis and serpiginoid choroiditis were common. The quantiferon levels were usually highly elevated and 33% of patients exhibited lymphadenopathy, suggesting frequently the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Ocular inflammation reacted favorably to antituberculosis treatment, although only a small minority had documented (prior) tuberculosis.
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